Austin’s Best Pizza Places: Are They Kid-Friendly?


Pizza has long been a staple in my household. In fact, I was literally raised in the pizza shop my father owned back in Carnegie, PA. Though Pizza Transit Authority has long ceased to exist – the 80s were super-competitive in the pizza biz – I still crave that crispy-crusty-cheesy-saucy goodness that only a pizza can give me. Even as I type this, I’m resisting the urge to call one of my favorite pizzerias and order a pie to-go. Update: I totally did.

With Austin being Austin, the pizza game has been stepped up over the past few years, elevating it to the upper gourmet echelons. Austin Monthly even bravely ranked pizza in their August issue.

All of this labeling of the best brings up an interesting question for Austinites with kiddos: is pizza still a go-to family food with some of these high-ranking favorites? If I want to take my 5-year-old to dine on some of the city’s best pies, will we get withered stares from the local foodies and gourmands?

After months of extensive research, here is an unbiased list of my top 10 favorite pizza places along with some good family-friendly tips and tricks.

Please note that this list is of my own opinion and does not reflect the opinions of the rest of the LiveMom staff. Also, they’re in alphabetical order. Oh, and the * indicates the location I went to when there are multiple shops.

1519 E Cesar Chavez St

Order this pie: Calabrese – tomato, mozzarella, salami, serrano, garlic, basil
Highchairs: unknown
How likely are you to get dirty looks for having your kid there? Somewhat likely if it’s after 7pm on a Saturday night.
Family Tip: Go early if you don’t want to wait. Doors open at 5:30 pm Wed-Sun

Located on the east side, Bufalina is tiny, loud and amazingly delicious. The wood-burning oven turns out one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. Though there were a few kids there the Saturday night we had a date night, I suggest waiting until their larger Burnet Road location opens. We waited over an hour for a table and there isn’t a large space to wait. If we were to have Lucy with us, the whining could have been overwhelming.

East Side Pies
Rosewood Ave
Airport Blvd
Anderson Lane*

Order this pie: Moon Dingo – ricotta, feta, goat, fresh & whole mozzarella & romano cheeses with bacon and mushrooms
Highchairs: No
How likely are you to get dirty looks for having your kid there? Not likely. There is a small back patio area that’s very kid-friendly.

East Side Pies is a different pizza than others on here. The crust is super thin and crunchy and they deliver, which is a weird anomaly in central Austin.

Home Slice
1415 S Congress Ave

Order this pie: Eggplant pie
Highchairs: Yes
How likely are you to get dirty looks for having your kid there? Not likely at all
Family Tip: Amy’s Ice Cream is just a block away

Home Slice is an institution on South Congress and its reputation as one of Austin’s best is well-deserved. Be prepared to wait for a table but their beer garden in the back is relaxing with beer and wine while you wait. There’s also More Home Slice next door with a window and small seating area if you just want a slice or two or can’t wait for a table.

House Pizzeria
5111 Airport Blvd

Order this pie: Sausage & Mushroom – tomato sauce, mozzarella, Italian sausage, mushrooms, roasted red peppers
Highchairs: Yes
How likely are you to get dirty looks for having your kid there? Somewhat. It’s a more intimate atmosphere than a typical pizza joint. But when you have a counter where you order, that to me takes away some of the formality.
Family Tip: Let your kiddos pick the songs on the jukebox

House Pizzeria’s wood-fired pies have a delightfully smoky hint and their Texas beer list is stellar.

Our pick from Little Deli: half cheese, half other stuff.

Little Deli
7101 Woodrow AveAdvertisement
Order this pie: Meat Combo – pepperoni, Italian sausage and meatball
Highchairs: Yes
How likely are you to get dirty looks for having your kid there? Very unlikely.
Family Tip: It’s BYOB so make sure you run into the Crestview IGA and check out their surprisingly extensive walk-in beer cooler. The friendly folks at Little Deli will give you a bucket of ice for your brews.

Oh, Little Deli. My neighborhood pie shop. The site of my first dinner as an Austinite. The savior of many worknights. There aren’t enough great things to say about Little Deli…their floppy slices still pack a healthy crunch and the pizza tastes just as great the next day.

Mandola’s Market
Triangle (45th / Lamar / Guadalupe)*
Bee Cave (Bee Cave Rd / 620 / 71)
Arbor Trails (William Cannon / So. Mopac)

Order this pie: Parma – Mozzarella, provolone, prosciutto, arugula, lemon vinaigrette and shaved Parmigiano (also, new on the menu is the French Fry Pizza, which is surprisingly delicious)
High chairs: Yes
How likely are you to get dirty looks for having your kid there? Very unlikely.
Family Tip: Kids’ meals come with a scoop of gelato and a drink, which makes Mandola’s one of the best kiddo dinner options in town.

Mandola’s in the Triangle is Lucy’s favorite restaurant. Though she goes for the noodles instead of the pizza, they put together a pretty solid and unique pie. It’s oblong shaped and cut into squares. But the best part about Mandola’s is their extensive cookie and pastry selection so save room.

Salvation Pizza
624 W. 34th St*
51 Rainey St

Order this pie: Pepperoni and Mushroom
High chairs: Yes
How likely are you to get dirty looks for having your kid there? Somewhat likely if school is in session at U.T.
Family Tip: The front porch is spacious, shaded and allows room for kiddos to roam. And there’s usually a friendly cat waiting to be petted.

I never knew that New Haven-style pizza was a thing but if Salvation is a good indicator of it, I’m totally on board. Salvation’s pizza has a thin crust and huge slices that you’ll be enjoying for days.

Cornhole with kiddos at Stanley’s.

Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza
13187 Fitzhugh Road

Order this pie: Ferdinand – red sauce, Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, caramelized onions, Calabrese chili oil. For the kids, get the Lil Heifer with pepperoni
Highchairs: No
How likely are you to get dirty looks for having your kid there? Extremely unlikely given the amount of families at Stanley’s.
Family Tip: Bring a blanket for the kiddos to sit on and you’ll feel like you’re having a picnic on a farm. With pizza!

One of my favorite ways to spend a weekend day is to head out to Stanley’s for some pizza and craft beer. They have lots of games throughout the ranch property and even have an impromptu sand pit for the kids to dig around in. (Is there anything kids love more than a big pile of dirt?) Stanley’s shares the old Ceres Park Ranch with Jester King so if you’re looking for a place to hang out with your beer snob buddy and his family, this is it. If Jester King’s beers are too sour for you, Stanley’s has an impressive rotating tap selection.

Our kid, at a pizza trailer behind a bar with a Coke.

Via 313
1111 East 6th St (at Violet Crown Social Club)
61 Rainey St. (at Craft Pride)*
6705 Hwy 290 #503

Order this pie: The Detroiter – smoked pepperoni under the cheese, natural casing pepperoni on top
Highchairs: No
How likely are you to get dirty looks for having your kid there? You won’t get dirty looks at the Hwy 290 brick and mortar location but you’ll definitely get some glances at the two trailer locations. I wasn’t sure if they were dirty looks or “Wow, you brought your kid to Craft Pride…good for you and your alcoholism” looks.
Family Tip: Your kids will probably not like this pizza, so go on a date night. Or check out the Hwy 290 location which has more options than the Detroit-style pie.

VIA 313 is cooked in deep-dish square pans that look like they came from a Ford plant, which may explain what Detroit-style pizza is. Todd’s cousin is from Detroit and even she didn’t know what that meant so here’s the rundown: the pizza is cut into four squares and the cheese is baked right to the edge. The crust is full of buttery goodness and if you’re staggering along Rainey St. or East 6th, a stop at VIA 313 is just what the hangover doctor ordered.

Of course, this is nowhere near a comprehensive list. If you have a favorite pizza place I missed, call it out in the comments. Maybe I’ll join you there sometime. In the meantime, I’ll be playing this video for the rest of the night.

Lisa Caldwell
About Lisa Caldwell 16 Articles
After growing up in Pittsburgh and bouncing around The West, Lisa Caldwell settled in Austin in 2012 with her husband and daughter with the dream of eating tacos for the majority of her meals. In her spare time, she writes at Hip-Baby Mama.

2 Comments on Austin’s Best Pizza Places: Are They Kid-Friendly?

  1. Stanley’s has highchairs. They may not have had them when this article was written but I was just there this past weekend and they definitely had them.

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